I was putting together an email this morning introducing what I'm up to with Mailana, and I realized it would make a good blog post too. I've talked about a lot of this stuff in different articles, but never gathered it all together in one place. I'm also preparing for my talk at the Boulder/Denver NewTech meetup on March 23rd, so it's good practice for that as well.
For motivation, my unofficial tagline is "You guys should talk".
I'm driven by the last 5 years I spent at Apple, which was chock full
of smart people but had no system for connecting them to solve
problems. I want to be able to do things like find internal experts
based on email analysis and locate people with contacts at external
companies by building an opt-in company directory of skills. Since it
can be a tough sell to persuade companies to hand over their email data
to a startup, I've created http://twitter.mailana.com/
as a shop window for the technology. It's still early days but it lets
you visualize the actual patterns of conversations in Twitter in some
Here's the technical background on Mailana: It's a system for
grabbing emails from all sorts of sources and doing server-side
analysis on the large data-sets you end up with. To grab the data I
have IMAP, Exchange, Outlook PST and Twitter import components. To
serve up the results I have a Facebook-style mini-app API with
HTML-based presentation components running through the browser, as
native Outlook tools, and in Sharepoint.
What do I need? I'm looking for progressive organizations interested in solving the sort of problems I'm tackling. I want to expand beyond my initial proof-of-concept pilots pulling data from Exchange and start tailoring the technology to address people's pressing needs.